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Old 01-29-2011, 03:27 PM   #1
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System of a grill

OK gang I read through the sticky thread on BBQ grills and am still confused. Last year I traveled with a Coleman "fold n go." The overall experience was less than satisfactory and so I'm looking for advice. I'm not sure if the grill was the problem or not, maybe it's the way I'm using it, hence the "system" title.

I'd like to encourage you to post a description of your grilling system, including answers to these questions:

- Do you carry a grill? If not, what do you do instead? Use the campground grill? Cook inside? Order pizza?
- Propane, charcoal, electric, or firewood?
- If propane, do you use disposable cylinders, or a hose to the trailer cylinders, or something else entirely? Where do you store the disposable cylinders while on the road? If a hose, how long is it? Have you had problems with liquid propane getting in the hose and leading to erratic operation?
- If charcoal, how do you handle ash disposal?
- Do does your grill have legs, or a cart, or do you put it low on the ground, or do you have a separate table, or put it on the picnic table at your campsite, or the tailgate of your tow vehicle, or ???
- How do you transport your grill? Do you have some sort of case, bag, or box for it? Does it fit in a storage locker or do you put it in the truck bed or ????? What do you do to contain the grease, ants, ashes, etc. so they don't make a mess?
- Where, given the realities of site layouts and the effects of heat and smoke, do you usually set the grill up?
- What make and model is your grill?
- How long have you had it?
- Do you find that you can get your choice of a searing hot fire for steaks or a moderate one for things like chicken or is your grill only good at one of those?
- Does your grill still perform in bad weather, like wind and rain?
- Do you find that your grill cooks fairly evenly or are you constantly rearranging the food to avoid hot and cold spots?
- How many people, realistically, can you cook for at once without exhausting the usable space on the grill?

Thanks
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:33 PM   #2
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My experience is likely useless as I don't know the make of my grill. It is a portable model, with fold-out legs (about 6") and a clip to hold the top down when traveling - which allows me to pick it up like a briefcase.

It had a single two-edged burner and a splatter shield that kept grease and fat from dropping directly onto the burner. It is this last item that finally rusted or burned through that made me replace it. There is no big problem with grease, as I was only cooking hamburgers, steaks, fish and chicken on it. Had I tried to cook big-time fatty stuff like a pork shoulder or a rack of ribs, then I think that would have been an issue.

I bought online a weber Q100 but it is not what I wanted. It is very well made, but less portable, as it has no way to secure the lid. Also, the grill is cast iron - very heavy. It is also much larger. It does have a good fat drainage system and will drain fat down to a disposable alum pan.

I use a hose that permits the use of a 20lb cylinder. It is a standard item in hardware stores; mine is about 36".

So - lots of info, prob not much of use.

Pat
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:39 PM   #3
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System of a grill

Greetings Jammer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post

I'd like to encourage you to post a description of your grilling system, including answers to these questions:

- Do you carry a grill? If not, what do you do instead? Use the campground grill? Cook inside? Order pizza?
I have only carried a grill for the past two seasons, and I am not certain that I am totally sold on carrying one. I still utilize the campground fire-rings to cook in my old cast-iron Dutch Ovens, but rarely utilize the charcoal grills provided on the site. During most of my trips, I eat out at local restaurants about 60% of the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
- Propane, charcoal, electric, or firewood?
- If propane, do you use disposable cylinders, or a hose to the trailer cylinders, or something else entirely? Where do you store the disposable cylinders while on the road? If a hose, how long is it? Have you had problems with liquid propane getting in the hose and leading to erratic operation?
I generally utilize either propane (grill that I carry) or hardwood firewood. I avoid charcoal entirely as I can stand the flavor that it imparts to foods. My grill utilizes small, 2 pound cylinders and I typically go through about a dozen in a year. Full cylinders are stored in a metal box in the rear of my tow vehicle and empty cylinders are disposed of in the campground waste receptacles. Thus far, I have had absolutely no operational difficulties with my LP grill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
- Do does your grill have legs, or a cart, or do you put it low on the ground, or do you have a separate table, or put it on the picnic table at your campsite, or the tailgate of your tow vehicle, or ???
My grill has built-in legs that raise it approximately 4" off of the table surface, and I most generally utilize the picnic table at my campsite as a platform for the grill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
- How do you transport your grill? Do you have some sort of case, bag, or box for it? Does it fit in a storage locker or do you put it in the truck bed or ?????
My grill came with a fitted heavy canvas case/bag, and it rides on the floor of my coach just inside the entry door. It isn't an ideal arrangement, but it is too large to fit in any of the compartments in either of my coaches.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
What do you do to contain the grease, ants, ashes, etc. so they don't make a mess?
My grill has a built-in drip tray that I line with heavy duty foil. Once the grill cools down, the foil liner is dumped in the campsite garbage container with minimal mess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
- Where, given the realities of site layouts and the effects of heat and smoke, do you usually set the grill up?
I only set my grill up when the plan is to be in a particular campsite for at least three nights - - there is too much fussing with setup and cleaning for shorter stays. I often have a crockpot running on my Inverter in the coach on days when I am traveling between campsites.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
- What make and model is your grill?
- How long have you had it?
My grill is a Napoleon Model PTSS215PI. This will be my third season with the grill and I wouldn't consider a different brand as I do like the performance of the grill - - - I am just not certain that it is as much of a necessity as I once thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
- Do you find that you can get your choice of a searing hot fire for steaks or a moderate one for things like chicken or is your grill only good at one of those?
The optional shelf helps tremendously with grilling heat sensitive foods. The Infrared element does require some adjustments to grilling techniques.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
- Does your grill still perform in bad weather, like wind and rain?
- Do you find that your grill cooks fairly evenly or are you constantly rearranging the food to avoid hot and cold spots?
Inclement weather isn't of great impact on the grill. Wind can prove a minor inconvenience if the LP cyliner is below 50%. The grill has extremely even heating particularly with the Infrared option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
- How many people, realistically, can you cook for at once without exhausting the usable space on the grill?
I rarely if ever utilize only the grill when preparing a meal so I rarely encounter any particular space issues. Generally, I find that it is easiest to utilize when grilling for a group of six or fewer.

The photo below is of the grill that I carry in my Airstream:




Kevin
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:40 PM   #4
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2005 19' International CCD
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Lodge Cast Iron charcoal hibachi-style grill (L410)

We use a Lodge Cast Iron charcoal hibachi-style grill (L410) which we carry in an action packer container with a charcoal starter and anything else we need.

- charcoal
- If charcoal, how do you handle ash disposal? Completely burns out and can be disposed in camp fire ring or in gravel.
- It has squat legs (1") and we cook with it either on the ground or on the grill that is normally at the campground.
- Rubbermaid action packer with all the supplies
- How long have you had it? 5+ years
- Do you find that you can get your choice of a searing hot fire for steaks or a moderate one for things like chicken or is your grill only good at one of those? Yes, this will do everything
- Does your grill still perform in bad weather, like wind and rain? Yes, but I can't find anyone to cook for me under those conditions.
- Do you find that your grill cooks fairly evenly or are you constantly rearranging the food to avoid hot and cold spots? yes
- How many people, realistically, can you cook for at once without exhausting the usable space on the grill? 8-10
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:48 PM   #5
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There is a similar grill to kevin's at SAMs club. Would anyone think it would be nice to have a way to mount a support for it up by the a frame? Since it is run from the propane I figure it may be nice to give it a home rather than setting it on a little table. (also due to having young kids it would better to keep it high and off a table.
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:54 PM   #6
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I don't know. Permanent mounting on the trailer raises questions of fire safety, staining the aluminum from smoke, and the possibility of attracting insects, bears, etc, with the leftover grease.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:13 PM   #7
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We use a similar appearing grill that we purchased at Cabela's ($99 on sale, normally $129). We carry it and two or three of the disposable propane bottles in a plastic tub in the bed of our pickup. It is easy to set up on the tailgate, a picnic table, or a small roll-up table that we take with us. We find that it is great for grilling a few burgers or some chicken and seems to do a good job. Being propane, it is much quicker than using charcoal or a wood fire. If we are staying in one location for a long time we may build a fire and do some grilling that way. However, living in the west we don't have the hardwoods available that there are in the east, so the quality of the wood fires can be a problem.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:32 PM   #8
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I have this Olympian grill:
Amazon.com: Camco 57301 Olympian RV 4100 Tabletop Grill: Automotive

I use gas cylinders and carry in truck bed. I'm not particularly enthusiastic about it. Biggest problem is something is always vibrating loose on it. I've finally taken to JB welding the numerous nuts on the threads of handles, etc. It has small legs for tabletop use but they are awkward and always seem to fall in the wrong position. It has needed a replacement regulator.

It has 12K btu burner and in still air cooks quite nicely. If it is cold and windy cooking times increase greatly.

I keep it because it works and I've already spent plenty on the RV hobby. I've had it about six years. I usually cook for two max.
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:20 PM   #9
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Portable grill

We have the Weber Baby Q, and love it. Very well made out of cast aluminum body, cast iron grate, stainless burner, excellent Weber grease catcher, will run in very windy conditions, very efficent, even cooking. I won't go thru all the grills we have owned to use camping, but this is the best one we have found, nothing close.
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:38 PM   #10
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Weber Q100. Available everywhere. Sits on picnic table, etc. Lives in pickup bed in a nylon canvas zipper bag made by Weber - no legs of its own to speak of. It WILL run on disposable propane bottles, but I always run it from either a 10lb or 20lb spare propane tank I carry as backup for the trailer and whch also runs the generator.

As most Weber things, it's pretty much flawless. It's not as hot as charcoal, but it gets hot faster and cools of fast and "burns off" any grease on the interior and catches drips in little aluminum trays that you can eithe throw away, wash out, or as I do, line with Al. foil and toss it when ye' done. Ten minute cool down and back into the zipper bag and back into the truck bed. Easy. No mess, no fuss. Wander around almost any campground and you'll see one or two. Ask the owners.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:00 PM   #11
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Webber Q 100 for us. I like the heat retention of the cast grate, the tubular stainless burner and the cast aluminum body. By pulling the pins from the lid, I can insert the main body into my rear storage hatch then slide the lid on top, so it all fits in the 'stream. I use a 1.5 G refillable propane tank but keep a couple of disposables handy...just incase!
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:35 PM   #12
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I use a Weber Smokey Joe grill. Cooks with charcoal and I use charcoal starter fluid to start it.

I cook everything from sausages and burgers to filets as well as vegetables like onions, potatoes and butternut squash. My favorite is ribeye steaks!

I carry a couple of ziplock bags of charcoal briquettes with me and store the two grills in the lid which stores upside down in the main body of the grill.

It just stands up in a storage compartment when I travel.

Costs less that $30 at hardware and supercenters.

I love mine!
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:44 PM   #13
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Weber Q 100 (aka Baby Q) with 5# propane tank and 5-6 ft extension hose. Has plenty of BTU's. Sears a steak well. No problem cooking chicken, burgs, dogs either. Have had trouble with the Olympian, never seemed to get hot enough.

All propane grills, no matter what size, have hotter and cooler spots. Learn where they are and use them to your advantage.

Weber sells a handy zippered bag with wheels. Seals well and contains the smell so it does not stink up your unit.

Usually I put it onto the end of a picnic table or on an aluminum folding camp table. Never too close to the MH/Trailer or under the awning. Grease vaporizes and will condense on them and soil them.

Have had it for 5+ years. It's the best I have had.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:53 PM   #14
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We have a Weber Baby Q. It is hauled in a big plastic box that goes in the back of the tow vehicle - the Argosy doesn't have any outside storage compartments, so that option's out. I dislike how big the package is - the shape of the handles takes up more room than I'd like. I've got plenty of room when we tow with the minivan, but it hogs up a lot of space if we tow with something tighter like a Grand Cherokee.

Thought about a hose off of the trailer's tanks, but we often wind up using the grille FAR away from the trailer. We stuck to disposable tanks.

The grill performs well and is a quality piece of kit. Stable, heats well, heats evenly, always lights. We don't use it all of the time, nor do we bring it on every trip.

I also have a stainless steel Kuuma Stow 'n Go grill. It is much more compact, fitting in a smaller plastic bin in the tow vehicle. This is nicely constructed but finicky. The regulator knob is fussy and the whole thing is a bit tippier than I'd like. I only bring it when vehicle space is at a premium.

The grill usually goes on a picnic table or on the ground. I always wonder about setting the table on fire, but so far, no boom.

Tom
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